The US today said that there is "a path forward" for India to become a full member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group by the end of the year, hours after the group's plenary meeting ended in Seoul with no decision on India's membership in face of strong China-led opposition.
"We are confident that we have got a path forward by the end of this year," a top Obama administration official said.
"It needs some work. But we are confident that India would be a full member of the (NSG) regime by the end of the year," the official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
India's NSG membership will touch 'raw nerve' with Pak: China
In touch with India on JeM chief issue: China
China helped Pak to block India's NSG membership bid: Aziz
India a potential counterweight to China: US Congressman
China to expand counter-terror cooperation with India:Official
Woman, paramour stripped, tied to tree by husband, villagers;
Father killed by son
HC orders removal of students hostels from residential complex
NCW institutes probe into Bihar gangrape case
Kerala nursing student ragging: NHRC issues notices
Refusing to divulge thediscussions and opposition to India's membership within the 48-member grouping, the official said details of the internal deliberations are confidential.
But the US strongly believes in India's membership in the NSG and the Obama Administration has "worked closely" with New Delhi and other countries on this issues, the official said.
Without going into details of deliberations, the official referred to a similar discussion within the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) to which India was inducted early this month after months of discussions within its member countries.
Like NSG, decisions within MTCR is taken with consensus.
"We expected a discussion on the role that India will play and where it has been," said the official.
"We were able to end discussion this week and we have a clear path forward for India to become a full member by the end of the year," the official asserted.
"That's our expectation," the senior administration official reiterated when asked if US expects that India's NSG membership could be achieved by the end of this year.
"Our expectations is that this would be finished by the end of this year," the official said.
The NSG ended its plenary meeting in Seoul with no decision on India's membership.
China, which had made no secret of its opposition, succeeded in scuttling India's bid despite a significant majority backing the Indian case. Thirty-eight countries supported India, according to Indian officials.